Are you interested in keeping fit? This is important if you are looking to improve your longevity and ensure that as you age, you avoid some of the common issues from chronic pain to heart problems. Staying fit may even ward off trouble with degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s according to some studies.
So, the reasoning is clear. But how do you do it? This is where some people struggle, and it’s understandable why, particularly once you reach middle-age and you succumb to the dreaded middle-age spread. With your fat starting to harden, especially around your stomach and your already-aching back, it can feel as though you are already fighting an uphill battle. You are, but with healthy lifestyle habits, keeping fit can be far easier than you think. This can be broken down into three areas:
• Eating Well
• Avoiding Bad Habits
If you do this, then you will be providing your body with the benefits it needs to stay in good shape. So, it sounds simple enough, but let’s break each one down and make sure that you are taking the right steps.
This is always going to be the first step when you are trying to keep fit. You need to make sure that you are exercising regularly. It’s important to understand that exercise can come in a variety of different forms. This means that you don’t have to be at the gym pumping iron, and as you get older, that can be far more difficult. In addition to this, an exercise that is too strenuous can do more harm than good. An injury can put you out of action for weeks and throw your entire exercise plan out of whack. That’s why it’s important if you are engaging in something like weightlifting to start slow. It’s best to begin with lighter weights and lighter levels of exercise before gradually upping the ante. Don’t worry; before long, you could be in good enough shape to run a marathon or bench lift an impressive amount.
However, and we can’t stress this enough, any form of exercise could be beneficial to you. Exercise just means moving your body. Any type of movement, whether it’s dancing, walking or moving your limbs around, can be a form of exercise. Now, it’s true that some forms of exercise are better for you than others.
For instance, if you want or need to lose weight, then you may want to try swimming. Swimming regularly will help you drop those pounds in no time, and it is quite possible that your weight is one of the biggest barriers stopping you from remaining fit. But it’s also worth noting that being slim doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fit. It’s quite possible to have a good body weight and still struggle to walk a mile without finding yourself out of breath. That could be because the body isn’t getting the minerals and vitamins it needs, which we’ll discuss further down.
A lot of people do struggle to keep up with exercise, and that’s understandable. You probably have a busy personal and professional schedule, but exercise can be fit in around this. For instance, you can complete exercises while you’re doing other things. Butt clenches while you are typing may seem silly, but this could be a good way to work out at work! There are also more elaborate possibilities like desk yoga.
Alternatively, you can fit exercise into your schedule more directly by changing your habits to something healthier. Healthy lifestyle habits can include walking or cycling to work rather than driving. Rather than taking the car to get the kids from school, use your legs instead. Do this and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.
It’s best to keep a schedule for exercise, too. That way you have something to follow. Set goals, aims and options, following them as much as possible. If you go off the plan, try to get things back on track as quickly as possible.
The key point here is to stay active. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you’re not sitting down all day or spending the weekends lying in bed.
If your diet is in the dumps, the likelihood of you being fit is low. Your body needs protein, good fats, vitamins, nutrients and minerals. If it doesn’t have this, it will cause physical problems from pain to issues with mobility and even brain function. These can become more problematic and common later in life. So, how do you make sure that you are eating well?
Follow an Official Diet
You don’t have to do this, but many people find it incredibly helpful, and there is a variety to choose from. There are diets related to improving your autoimmune system and diets based on removing all the foods related to modern health issues and illnesses. This includes avoiding causes of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. So, it could be very beneficial for staying fit. While many use these diets to lose weight, the main benefit will always be improving your health.
Some diets are restrictive. One of the issues here is that it stops you from getting everything that your body needs to function effectively. This can include certain minerals and vitamins. As such, you may need to use supplements to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy diet. Alternatively, you will need to speak to a dietician or a nutritionist to create a plan that provides everything your body needs.
One of the most popular diets is plant-based, which simply restructures your diet to mainly consist of products derived from plants. This can have a great impact on your overall fitness levels and even improve energy.
A significant benefit of using an official diet is that you will have a plan in place so you can follow rules that are set. This makes it far easier to maintain your health with the right foods and avoid others that you don’t need.
As mentioned, supplements can be useful, and in some cases, they are absolutely necessary. Supplements provide the minerals and vitamins that you are unable or struggle to get through your diet plan. It’s important to make sure that you are choosing the right supplements as some are more beneficial for your health than others. The best supplements are completely organic.
One mistake that people make is using supplements as a replacement for either a good exercise routine or a healthy diet. It’s important that you avoid this pitfall. Supplements should never be used like this and instead should only be put in place as an add-on to an existing diet or exercise plan.
Don’t Calorie Count
Unless you are unhappy with how much you weigh or you have been advised by a doctor to lose weight, you shouldn’t worry too much about dropping those pounds. This will happen naturally when you adopt more healthy lifestyle choices, so there’s no need to count the calories of everything that you eat. Instead, focus on getting a healthy and for the most part, varied diet. Fruits and veggies should take the lead, but you can still have meat, eggs, fish and more. It’s crucial that you are still providing your body with proteins, too.
While you don’t need to count the calories, keeping a plan of what you are eating can help you stay fit. This isn’t just about finding out which food helps you lose weight. It’s about noting which types help you feel better, fitter and reduce issues like stomach pain, back pain, bloating or low levels of energy. If you do this, you should be able to finetune your diet so that it is right for you.
This is an obvious pointer. After all, our body is 60% water, so it makes sense that you need to provide it with a lot. Water helps ensure that your fluids are well-balanced in the body. By doing this, you can guarantee that nutrients travel around the body as they should. It can also fill you up if you do struggle with avoiding fatty foods and help keep your muscles ready for a good workout.
Avoid Unhealthy Substances
Alcohol, nicotine and junk food all fit on this list, and these are the unhealthy habits that you now need to cut out. Alcohol isn’t just bad for your liver; it’s often high in calories. So, if you are struggling to lose weight and get in shape while on an exercise plan, this could be your problem. Alcohol, of course, wreaks havoc on your moods too, making it more difficult to stay active and keep fit.
Smoking is often seen as a way to lose weight because you can smoke instead of binge eating. However, it’s not effective when you consider that smoking weakens your lungs, making exercise far more difficult. There’s also an increased risk of developing medical conditions like cancer, and smoking ages you, which makes staying in shape a tougher challenge.
As for junk food, experts believe that processed foods high in sugar are just as dangerous as drinking or smoking. As such, you want to cut these out as much as possible. It’s no surprise that most official, recommended diets will tell you that these are one of the first things that needs to go, particularly if you find that junk food like this is actually remarkably addictive. If you can, you should think about replacing junk food that you consume after your meals with fruit. Instead of consuming it as a snack, eat some fruit or nuts instead. Rather than plaguing your body with poor substances, you will be providing it with exactly what it needs.
The biggest issue when it comes to kicking these unhealthy habits is that they are addictive. It’s possible that when you try, each one will give you withdrawal symptoms. It is worth fighting through these as you will see startling benefits within just a few months in most cases. Your mood, mental health, physical wellbeing and fitness levels will all improve once you kick these habits for good.
Keep a Check On Your Mental Health
Finally, do make sure that you are taking care of your mind as well as your body. Most people don’t realize that physical health problems can often have mental causes. Stress can cause weight gain, chronic pain and low levels of energy. If you are feeling stressed, it’s worth taking some time to relax, finding yourself with meditation or yoga. Your body will certainly thank you if you do this.